The last few years has seen a big increase in the number of Senior Dating Services you can choose from, each one offering something slightly different than the others. Choice is a wonderful thing, but not all of them are good services and some of them should definitely be avoided as they have limited numbers of members and offer poor value for money. Of the five or six that I’ve been regularly involved with, there are three senior dating services that I currently recommend as standing out from the rest.
Most senior dating services allow you to browse through all the profiles of other members and make your own selections of who you’d like to contact. Well eHarmony doesn’t work this way and there’s a reason that they do things differently.
Quite often, if we make a choice just by looking at a small picture of someone on the screen and reading their brief profile, we may be choosing people for the wrong reasons, and worse than that, we may be missing out on the ones who would really be our most compatible matches.
eHarmony was founded by Dr. Neil Clark Warren who researched the most important factors that make couples truly compatible with each other in the long term. He found that there were 29 vital aspects of compatibility that were common to the majority of successful relationships. These aspects of compatibility go far beyond the standard likes and dislikes and can identify your fundamental character qualities and values.
Based on this research, he was able to create a comprehensive personality test with around 500 questions which thoroughly reveals the deepest aspects of your personality and identifies the type of person that you would be most compatible with. I think he’s right on the money here because if you’re not compatible with someone deep down, you won’t ever be able to keep each other truly happy and content.
Because eHarmony’s approach is so detailed, it tends to deter those folks who aren’t really serious about finding someone for a lasting relationship. After all, if you’re not serious, why would you bother spending all that time completing a big personality profile!
So if you ARE serious about finding a partner for marriage or a serious relationship, then you’re far more likely to find someone who wants the same as you on eHarmony, and as proof, they have created more marriages than any other dating service.
Even though eHarmony doesn’t just cater to seniors, around 15%-20% of its members are seniors and since they have a huge membership of close to a million members, you’re extremely likely to find someone compatible with you.
My main criticisms of the service would be the fact that you must work within the structure they have designed. You’re not as free to do what you want as on other sites, but since the system they have created is based on proven research, I can understand why they do this.
The initial prices are slightly more expensive than some other sites, but don’t forget that this tends to reflect in the quality of the members you’ll meet and the fact that their intentions will be genuine. The initial monthly membership starts at $49.95 which makes eHarmony the Rolls Royce of senior dating services! However, they offer very good discounts which make it much more affordable to sign up for longer, such as 33% off if you join for 3 months, 45% off for 6 months and almost 60% off if you join for 12 months.
The good news is that you can take Dr. Warren’s detailed personality test absolutely free and I highly recommend that you do that before you join. I know you’ll learn as much about yourself as I did!
Silver Singles is one of the most popular senior dating services and was started by the same people who run American Singles, which is itself one of the largest of the mainstream dating services aimed at the younger crowd. You can tell immediately from the layout and presentation, that Silver Singles is a professional operation and I was pleased to see that there are lots of ‘Help’ options which are easy to locate as you find your way around.
The service gives you quite a lot of freedom to make contact with other members in different ways. You can see who’s online, check out other people’s profiles and then make contact with them by email or instant messaging or by talking ‘live’ in the chatroom.
It’s very easy to take out a free trial membership which just involves choosing a username and password and providing your location and contact email address. You can then take a look around the site and browse the profiles of other members, but it’s definitely a good idea to complete the profile questionnaire as soon as possible.
This has some standard questions about yourself as well as asking more about your personality traits, your preferences, interests and hobbies. Taking the time to provide these answers will give you a much better chance of finding a good match. You can also add up to four photos of yourself which is always a good idea!
While you’re still on your free trial, apart from browsing the profiles, you can also send what’s called a ‘Tease’ to other members. These are simple ‘one-line’ comments which are pre-selected but there is quite a range to choose from and you’re allowed to send up to 30 of these a day while you’re still a free member.
If you get a response from one of your ‘Tease’ messages then you’ll have to join the service as a full member to be able to reply as well as to enjoy all the other features of the service.
Subscriptions are quite reasonable, starting at $24.85 for a month’s full membership, but you can get almost a 50% reduction on the monthly cost when you join for six months which I think is very good value.
Silver Singles is a large, well-organized service for senior singles which provides lots of useful features to help members make contact and connect with each other.
Senior Friend Finder is one of the oldest and best established of the senior dating services and it seems to have been around for as long as the Internet itself!
A lot of people come to the site just looking for pen-pals, friends or activity partners, but that can also be a great way to start a relationship.
However, many people do use the service looking for love and it’s very successful for that too. I’ve also noticed that folks on Senior Friend Finder seem to be more open about their physical needs and desires than on some other services, and its not uncommon for people to mention that in their profiles.
The main activity is based around the chat rooms which are friendly and welcoming places, where you can talk to other people in an open and “public” way. If you want to talk to someone outisde of the main chatroom then you can use the Instant Messenger software which you download separately, which allows you to chat together privately. Alternatively, many people just exchange email addresses or phone numbers so they can start getting to know each other better.
You can take out a free membership which entitles you to browse through the Ads, and when you see someone you like, you can send them a “wink” which tells them that you’re interested in getting to know them. Generally there are quite a few restrictions on what information you can see about other people until you become a full member. However, even as a free member you’re still entitled to join in the chat.
Some people enjoy being part of this big online community so much that they’ve been members of Senior Friend Finder for more than 10 years! Full membership starts from only $19.95 a month, and again there are very attractive discounts for a longer subscription.
Some of the benefits of full membership include having full access to contact all site visitors, receiving a daily email letting you know which new members might be of interest to you, posting and seeing articles and poems and reading the online magazine. Oh and did I mention that they even organize big get-togethers for their members, usually at a Las Vegas hotel!
All three of these senior dating services are excellent choices and I know many folks who have had success meeting wonderful people with each of them. My advice is to pick the service that you think is closest to what you’re looking for and give it a go. If you haven’t signed up yet for one of their free trials then what are you waiting for? Come join the crowd and try it out now!
Kathy Damer’s Top Senior Dating Recommendations